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Zoom, iQiyi become the latest tech firms to invest in Singapore

Written by Stephanie Pearl Li Published on     2 mins read

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Singapore is a perfect gateway for engaging the wider APAC region, says Zoom’s Velchamy Sankarlingam.

Baidu-backed streaming service iQiyi (NASDAQ: IQ) and video conferencing service Zoom (NASDAQ: ZM) on Wednesday announced that they will expand their presence in Singapore. The two are joining internet giants such as Tencent, Alibaba, and ByteDance who recently decided to strengthen their Asia hubs in the city state.

“We will be expanding a whole range of functions here,” Kuek Yu-Chuang, iQiyi’s vice president for international business told the local paper Business Times. “Content is going to be a big part of the functions that are here in Singapore. In addition to that, we will also have sales, marketing and business development, making sure we are engaging global audiences.”

iQiyi, which was founded in 2010, has risen to become one of the household names in the Chinese video streaming market. With 118.9 million subscribing members as of March, the firm plans to beef up its subscriber base by 50% in overseas markets within five years, CEO and founder Gong Yu told Reuters in late 2019. Currently, it operates in markets including Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, and Laos.

Despite reporting a total revenue of USD 1.1 billion in the first quarter of 2020, the streaming platform has seen its net loss widening from RMB 1.8 billion in Q1 2019 to RMB 2.9 billion (USD 406 million) in the same quarter this year.

Zoom Video Communications said that it will open a research and development center in Singapore, the fourth after the US, India, and China, and that it plans to hire hundreds of engineers, expanding its current data center in the lion city.

“Singapore is pro-business, ranks as one of the friendliest countries to set up a company, and continues to be a favorite for regional headquarters as it boasts exceptional talent, strong infrastructure, and is a perfect gateway for engaging the wider APAC region,” said Velchamy Sankarlingam, president of product and engineering of Zoom.

Sankarlingam added that the firm plans to immediately hire employees from Singapore’s “highly-educated engineering talent pool.” The California-based tech giant will double up its data-center capacity in the city, which it expects will ensure the security and reliability of its services to users across Asia Pacific.

In November, Dyson, a global tech firm best known for its vacuum cleaners, also committed to invest GBP 2.75 billion (USD 3.67 billion) in Singapore, the Philippines, and its home country UK through 2025.

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